COVID-19 has become the prime focus of virtually all recent therapy sessions.
Stress caused by fear of the disease is compounded by isolation, mental health experts say, as governments close schools and restaurants and recommend that people limit social interaction.
For mental health professionals, there is the challenge of providing much-needed care while following social distancing guidelines. That likely means seeing patients via video services.
Ways to cope with the stress
To manage anxiety, doctors recommend limiting news intake to once or twice a day, to stay abreast of health experts’ recommendations while avoiding over-exposure that can trigger panic.
They also recommend acknowledging anxious thoughts rather than repressing them – but then moving on quickly.
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Exercise regularly gets plenty of sleep.
Avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind. Try to do some activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Know the facts to help reduce the stress
Sharing the facts about COVID-19. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can make the outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate facts about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them.
Take care of your mental health
Call your mental health provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Please remember children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. You can be more reassuring to others around you, especially children, if you are better prepared.
Watch for behavior changes in your child
Not all children and teens to stress the same way.
· Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
· Returning to behaviors, they have outgrown(for example, bedwetting)
· Excessive worry or sadness
· Unhealthy eating habits
· Acting out
· Difficulty paying attention
· Unexplained headaches or body pain
Ways to Support your Child
· Be open with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak.
· Answer their questions.
· Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your stress.
· Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage.
· Keep up with regular routines.
· Be a role model.
Take care of your own emotional health. Caring for a loved one can take an emotional toll, especially during an outbreak like COVID-19.